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storage news - September 2009, week 3

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news stories
about the storage market
... SSD history
popular SSD articles
what's the state of DWPD?
flash SSD Jargon Explained
the Top 10 SSD Companies
what's new in military SSDs?
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
latency reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory mix
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Foremay Launches Military SSDs

Editor:- September 21, 2009 - Foremay announced the SC199 Hi-Rel Series SLC flash SSDs in 1.8", 2.5" and 3.5" form factors which meet military standards MIL-STD-810G and MIL-STD-833G.

Operational temperature options include -40°C to approx 100°C.

The SC199 Hi-Rel Series SSDs are made with rugged industrial grade SLC flash, and are geared for high reliability, high performance and high ruggedness applications, as well as for commercial applications in harsh environments such as damp heat tropical forests, deserts, arctic regions, tundra soil areas, mountains, muddy and dusty lands, wetlands, oceans, and under water.

Will Flash Torch Hard Disk Market? - Reprise

Editor:- September 21, 2009 - 2 years ago StorageSearch.com published an article - How Solid is Hard Disk's Future? - in which I looked at - what impact would the fast growing solid state disk market have on the overall hard disk market?

Readers had asked - "Is SSDs' gain really HDDs' loss?" - My analysis concluded - "In some segments yes. But it's not a zero sum game."

This theme is revisited in a new article published today by - Coughlin Associates - Flash & HDD - Symbiosis, or Survival of the Fittest? (pdf).

The new white paper, written by esteemed storage analysts - Tom Coughlin, Jim Handy and Roger F. Hoyt shows how many hard disk drives are sold because of digital storage required to support flash memory consumer electronics applications such as digital cameras, camcorders, and music and video players. The paper makes the case that there is more symbiosis than competition between hard disk drives and flash memory for consumer electronics applications. ...read the article (pdf)

See also:- How will hard drives fare in an SSD world?

How to Recognize an Enterprise flash SSD?

Editor:- September 21, 2009 - 15 months ago StorageSearch.com started warning readers that not all flash SSDs which were being marketed for "enterprise applications" - were in fact suitable.

We did this in many editorials - and an explicit article - Are MLC SSDs Safe in Enterprise Apps?

The issue now is more complex. It has often been raised in our own analysis of new SSD product launches and it's been discussed in some external articles too - in various SSD Bookmarks.

Today STEC published a new opinion piece on this theme called - Key Differentiators and Competitive Aspects of Enterprise SSDs (pdf).

It's not the best article you'll see on this subject, and neither is it the 1st nor final word.

Regretfully - as we've seen in the past year - the state of market knowledge about SSD reliability and quality issues is sometimes no better in the marketing departments of some new-to-market SSD vendor companies than it is in the minds of new aspiring SSD buyers. But it's an important topic - and will continue to get an airing in these pages. ...read the article (pdf)

See also:- what do enterprise SSD users want?

Who OEMs Whose SSD (or Not) Update

Editor:- September 18, 2009 - Here is more SSD news about who is oeming whom.

Samsung announced today that HP is offering its SSDs as an option in ProLiant servers. "After months of testing, HP qualified the Samsung 'green' SSD option across its industry-standard server line..."

In contrast - earlier this week Pillar Data Systems said it had dumped Intel SSDs due to flaky operation and was switching to STEC. Maybe Pillar should have spent a bit more time qualifying the Intel product beforehand - or done a better job at it? See also:- can you trust flash SSD specs and benchmarks?

OCZ Finally Ships Z-Drive

Editor:- September 16, 2009 - OCZ announced immediate availability of its Z-Drive PCIe SSDs available with SLC or MLC flash.

Editor's comments:- This product was originally unveiled in March 2009 at CeBIT. The IOPS performance of the SLC version is an order of magnitude lower than that of true enterprise acceleration products from Fusion-io and Texas Memory Systems which does beg the question - what applications are really viable for this product?

BakBone Wakes Up to Disk Backup

Editor:- September 16, 2009 - BakBone Software today announced it will change its focus from traditional tape-based data protection solutions to disk-based technology with new products to be launched soon.

Editor's comments:- BakBone is already years behind the curve in its reaction to the market's shift to disk backup. It's really surprising therefore that the company has unwisely erected the information block of a sign-up web form ahead of saying anything useful about what it plans to do.

What can we learn from this? Don't employ any marketers who have had anything to do with this product launch. (Check for "Open Data Protection platform" on the CV.)

Former Fusion-io CEO Encores at Violin

Editor:- September 15, 2009 - Violin Memory today announced that Donald Basile has been named CEO.

Dr. Basile (with over 20 years of leadership experience) most recently served as the CEO of Fusion-io which evangelized the use of PCIe flash SSDs for servers and workstations. Under his leadership, the company concluded agreements with HP, IBM and Dell. He also led sales growth that generated over 300 global enterprise customers in less than 1 year.

"Don has an impressive record of building both value and market footprint rapidly as was shown in his time as CEO at Fusion-io" said Steve O'Donnell, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "He possesses the unique combination of operational, technical, managerial and marketing skills that will have an immediate positive impact on Violin Memory."

Editor's later comments:- for more about the later complexities in these markets see - Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise

OEMs Qualifying Virtual RAID Adapter Software

Editor:- September 15, 2009 - Dot Hill today announced that several tier #1 OEMs are evaluating its virtual RAID adapter software.

VRA-based solutions enable server OEMs to offer built-in, high-end RAID functionality in multi-core Intel compatible servers without the expense of a dedicated RAID-on-chip acceleration device.

In September 2008, Dot Hill acquired certain assets from Ciprico which included exclusive rights to license RAIDCore technology from Broadcom. The acquisition was part of a strategic initiative to offer software-only products for the enterprise server data protection market as complementary offering to its existing external hardware RAID array business.

RAIDCore VRA technology enables RAID to be offered in volume, entry-level servers where hardware-accelerated RAID has traditionally been too expensive.

NextIO Names New VP Sales

Editor:- September 15, 2009 - NextIO has named DaWane Wanek as VP of world wide sales.

Prior to joining NextIO, Wanek served as a member of the executive team at Dell, where he was a director of the Advanced Systems Group. Wanek has also held senior sales leadership positions with companies such as RLX Technologies, Scalable Software, BMC Software and Data General.

storage news

Military projects started using SSDs as early as the 1970s because they were faster, more rugged and more reliable than hard drives.
military SSDs news and articles
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What's the best way to design a flash SSD?

and other questions which divide SSD opinion
More than 10 key areas of fundamental disagreement within the SSD industry are discussed in an article here on StorageSearch.com called the the SSD Heresies.
click to read the article - the SSD Heresies ... Why can't SSD's true believers agree upon a single coherent vision for the future of solid state storage? ...read the article

SSDs - the big picture
Editor:- StorageSearch.com was the world's 1st publication to provide continuous editorial coverage and analysis of SSDs (in 1998) and in the years which have followed we've led the market through many interesting and confusing times.
click to read the story about why SSDs are taking up so much time on so many web pages If you often find yourself explaining to your VC, lawyer or non technical BBQ guests why you spend so much time immersed in SSD web pages - and need a single, simple, not very technical reference to suggest - this may be the link they need.

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this way to the Petabyte SSD
In 2016 there will be just 3 types of SSD in the datacenter.

One of them doesn't exist yet - the bulk storage SSD.

It will replace the last remaining strongholds of hard drives in the datacenter due to its unique combination of characteristics, low running costs and operational advantages.
click to read the article -  reaching for the petabyte SSD - not as scary as you may think ... The new model of the datacenter - how we get from here to there - and the technical problems which will need to be solved - are just some of the ideas explored in this visionary article.

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